The Texas Compassionate Use Act establishes guidelines that allow physicians registered through the Texas Compassionate Use Registry to prescribe medical cannabis to patients with qualifying conditions.
Initially passed into law in June 2015, the Compassionate Use Act allowed low-THC medical cannabis to be used as a practical treatment for only intractable epilepsy. The passage of this law marked a huge shift in the state’s stance towards medical cannabis in Texas.
In June 2019, the Texas Compassionate Use Program was expanded, allowing medical cannabis as a possible treatment for a much broader set of qualifying conditions, including all forms of epilepsy and other seizure disorders, autism, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), terminal cancer, as well as other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and more.
As of June 2021, the Compassionate Use Program expanded the list of medical conditions to include all cancer diagnoses and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as qualifying conditions and raised the THC cap from 0.5% to 1% through the passage of HB 1525. The bill goes into effect September 1, 2021.
For patients, the passage and expansion of the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) means that through their physician, they now have access to a new prescription option to address symptoms such as anxiety, seizures, depression, pain, spasms, insomnia, lack of appetite, restlessness and many others.
For doctors and physicians, the Texas Compassionate Use Act provides them with another, more natural medicine to help their patients deal with some of the most severe conditions experienced today.
Ultimately, the CUP opens new doors in the way patients and doctors work together to alleviate and manage their conditions.
Under the Compassionate Use Program, patients are eligible to receive a prescription for medical CBD and low-THC cannabis if they have any of the following conditions:
It is still a crime to possess marijuana (over 0.3% THC by weight) not prescribed by a registered doctor for an approved condition in the state of Texas. While the passage of Texas House Bill 3703 in 2019 did a lot to expand and improve access to medical marijuana for qualified patients, it did not change any state regulations around recreational use. Although HB1535 was a small expansion to the medical marijuana program, it did add all cancer diagnoses and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions and raised the THC cap to 1%, effective September 1, 2021.
Under the provisions of the Texas Compassionate Use Act, low-THC medical cannabis can be used in the medical treatment of approved conditions, under the supervision of a registered physician.
The history of cannabis in Texas stretches back over 100 years. The recent passage of House Bill (HB) 3703 serves as landmark legislation for the state. Follow along cannabis’ lengthy journey to becoming a legal medical treatment in Texas below.